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Here’s Why You Should Sign Up For A Seafood CSA

July 31, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

CSAs (which stands for community supported agriculture) are great for so many reasons. You know exactly where your produce comes from, you’re introduced to new fruits and vegetables that you might not typically use, you’re supporting small-scale, sustainable farms and by eating locally and in-season, you’re helping the environment. But why should these benefits only apply to vegetables? Now, thanks to a new wave of Community Supported Fisheries, you can count on all of these benefits applying to seafood, too.

Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs) are based on the same model as CSAs. Members pay a flat fee and receive a pre-determined amount of seafood each week, month or however frequently the share delivers. They’re great, because the seafood industry is one part of the food world that sorely needs more transparency and a stronger commitment to sustainability.

“Fish fraud,” or mislabeling seafood, is a rampant problem. Ocean advocacy group Oceana released a study last year revealing that up to one-third of all seafood is mislabeled, which is a serious concern for consumers’ wallets and health. For one, seafood sellers and distributors might be selling cheaper seafood for higher prices by inaccurately labeling fish. (Oceana also has a very telling and alarming infographic detailing just how much you could be losing thanks to fish fraud.) Second, mislabeling could also pose health risks for people trying to avoid certain fish — such as fish with high mercury levels — but aren’t even given the chance to make a fully informed decision. By connecting consumers directly with local fishermen, and eliminating the middleman and the risk of mislabeling, community supported fisheries can help fight fish fraud.

Another important role a CSF can play in the seafood industry is aiming for sustainability and practicing humane fishing. It’s no secret that we are overfishing our oceans. Americans are eating more seafood than ever — according to Oceana, we are eating “50 percent more seafood than [we] did 50 years ago.” And consumption is half the problem. Bycatch — fish and sea mammals that get unintentionally killed or injured due to careless or inhumane fishing practices — is another horrific piece to the puzzle. By joining a CSF that is committed to low-impact fishing and steering away from overfished species, you are also supporting sustainability in our oceans. Also, like learning what the f*ck to do with those mystery vegetables you get in your CSA (ahem, stinging nettles), you’ll get to know new kinds of fish and expand your seafood horizons.

CSF’s are popping up all over the country, from Mermaid’s Garden in Brooklyn, to the Village Fishmonger’s CSF that serves all of New York City, to Massachusetts-based Cape Ann Fresh Catch, to Community Seafood in Santa Barbara.

Joining a CSF is a positive way to push for much-needed reform across the board. By actively supporting local fishermen and fisheries that adhere to transparency and humane fishing practices, you’re showing the big industry players where consumers’ priorities lie. It sounds cliché, but while joining a CSF might feel like one small ripple in the pool, together with the rest of your CSF-partners, you’ll make waves.

Have you used a CSF? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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7 Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of

July 30, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

If you were asked to name a superfood, we’re betting you might say quinoa. And if you were to rattle off a few more, you might mention goji berries, chia seeds or if it was 2009, acai.

The term “superfood” is as overused as its meaning, nutritional p…

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Almond Milk Recipes To Fall In Love With

July 30, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

There’s been a lot of discussion about almond milk lately. Food writer Tom Philpott of Mother Jones pissed off a lot of people when he told “ignorant hipsters” to “lay off the almond milk” in an article published on July 16. Philpott took issue with th…

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It’s A Cookie-Flavored Cookie-Flavored Cookie

July 29, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

How much do you love cookies? Is life without cookies something like this?

And when you get a cookie, do you feel sort of like this?

If this sounds like you, you may need a cookie-flavored, cookie-flavored cookie. Stay with us here. You’l…

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In Defense Of Milk Chocolate, The Underdog Of The Chocolate World

July 28, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

Whatever happened to milk chocolate? In recent years, everybody seems to be siding with dark chocolate, leaving milk out in the cold. Everywhere you look, people are singing dark chocolate’s praises, from its potential to prevent heart attacks and strokes to its mood-boosting properties to its beauty benefits.

Milk chocolate, which contains milk powder or condensed milk, is actually a relatively recent invention in the long history of chocolate. In 1867, Swiss chemist Henri Nestlé developed powdered milk, and 12 years later Swiss chocolate manufacturer Daniel Peter combined it with chocolate liquor. Milk chocolate was born and the chocolate industry and Valentine’s Day hasn’t been the same since.

We admit, many of us here at HuffPost Taste prefer dark chocolate to milk. We are, however, also fans of milk, and since today is National Milk Chocolate Day, we feel it’s only fair to give milk chocolate its due.

Here are 11 reasons milk chocolate might just be better than dark chocolate.

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The 17 Food Words People Spell Wrong All The Time

July 28, 2014 Alison Spiegel 0

Between writing about food all day and eating out way too much, we here at HuffPost Taste have just about had it with misspelled food words. Sure, everyone spells words incorrectly here and there and we can be as guilty as the next guy. But when it com…